Haringey’s police ‘front counters’ are conveniently located so that residents can report crimes locally at any time. Of course, we hope that we will never have to use the counters – but it is comforting to know that they are there if we need them.
Being the victim of crime at any level can be a harrowing experience. Many of us would much prefer to go to the local police counter, get reassurance, and report a crime face to face with an officer in a safe environment – rather than having to explain over telephone or travel a long distance.
For these very reasons, the local Lib Dems and I previously fought a long and successful campaign to save Muswell Hill Police Station and counter. We have also long campaigned for one in Highgate.
I was therefore very concerned when the Conservative Mayor of London recently announced cuts to the police budget, with front counters in particular under threat.
In Haringey, we currently have 24 hour counters at Wood Green, Hornsey and Tottenham, with a part-time counter manned by volunteers in Muswell Hill. It is clear from the proposals that the counter in Muswell Hill will be closed, and it’s highly likely that Hornsey station would only be open on a part time basis.
This will lead to a situation where residents would have to travel a long distance (e.g. to Wood Green) to report a crime face to face – not ideal if you have been a victim of crime late in the evening.
So, the local Lib Dems and I did what we do best – contacted local residents to find out what they thought of the plans, and decided to take action.
The results of our survey were clear – 95% of respondents told us that they wanted to keep Hornsey’s 24-hour police front counter. We will continue to survey residents and gather support. In the meantime, we have launched a campaign to protect our local services.
We’re calling for assurance that no service – in Muswell Hill and across the Borough – is lost without a suitable replacement. We oppose any reduction in hours at Hornsey police station and will be fighting to keep a police base and front counter staffed by the dedicated team of volunteers in Muswell Hill.
In addition, I will shortly be arranging a meeting at City Hall, so I can tell the officials what my constituents think about the proposals. I will of course keep residents updated on how this goes – and with any further news about the potential closures.
Residents can also have their say directly. The plans are not yet concrete and the Met are in the process of consulting the public. The Met will be coming to Haringey Civic Centre on Wednesday, 20 February at 8pm to listen to local views on the proposals. This is part of their ‘consultation roadshow,’ and our opportunity to get our voices heard.
I would encourage all concerned residents to attend and let the police know how important our local services are!
Hornsey Survey – http://bit.ly/RtePds
Muswell Hill Survey – http://bit.ly/Sd7iyA
Lynne Featherstone, MP for Hornsey & Wood Green
Tel: 020 8340 5459
She blogs at www.LynneFeatherstone.org and is on Twitter at twitter.com/LFeatherstone
Email: [email protected] or write to me at House of Commons, London SW1A